Loch Ness monster ‘was to be named after queen’
Sir Peter Scott, who led the hunt for the monster in the 1960s, wrote to the Palace for consent to name the beast “ Elizabethia Nessiae” if found.
It is thought he chose the name in the hope it would help him register the monster as an endangered species.
Her Majesty was so interested in the eminent conservationist’s search she asked to be kept personally informed about it.
But Palace officials were dubious. They wanted proof Nessie existed, and questioned if it was appropriate to name a “monster” after the Queen.
The extraordinary documents were uncovered in an archive at Cambridge University.
A letter from Martin Charteris, the Queen’s assistant private secretary at the time, read: “If there is any suggestion of naming the animal after the Queen, there must of course be irrefutable evidence of it’s existence
“It would be most regrettable to connect Her Majesty in any way with something which ultimately turned out to be a hoax.
“Even if the animal does exist I am not at all sure it would be very appropriate to name it after Her Majesty after so many years being known as “The Monster”.
Sir Peter led the first scientific expedition into the theory of Nessie being a plesiosaur - a type of dinosaur that lived in the sea 250 million years ago.
Despite knocking back his request, the papers show the Queen did ask to be kept updated about the progress of the mission.
Zac Baynham-Herd, the history of science researcher who uncovered the documents, said: “I think it was a semi-serious idea.
“Under legislation at the time for an endangered species it had to be named and this may have prompted Sir Peter Scott to approach the Queen with the suggestion she could lend her name to the monster.
“There was a national fascination with the story. Given the Queen’s love of Scotland and the fact her Balmoral home is only 80 miles away from Loch Ness it’s easy to understand why she might have shared that interest.
“At the time a lot of people were genuinely fascinated in the mystery of the Loch ness Monster and hoped to discover the truth about it.”
Palace officials declined to confirm if the Queen was still interested in Nessie.
A spokesman said: “Her Majesty has seen many things in her life, but there are currently no plans for an audience with the Loch Ness monster.”